Many of us have routine spending habits. It is hard to break these habits, especially when it means sacrificing a luxury. Eating out at lunch with coworkers, weekends at the movies with popcorn and the works, regular date nights at nice restaurants…all of these are wonderful luxuries. However, when saving for a new home, it is not only suggested that you cut back on spending, but necessary.
Here’s the good news:
There are plenty of easy ways to save money. There are certain luxuries you can spend less on or cut completely out of your life in order to help you afford a home.
Stay at Home, Afford a Home
It’s fun to travel. Research shows that experiences correlate with happiness more than objects. Nevertheless, It’s expensive to take vacations. If you want to save up for a home, you most likely need to stop taking vacations or find inexpensive alternatives to your typical vacation.
For example, plan a staycation with your family. Take the money that you would have used for your vacation, save most of it, but have fun family outings within your state.
Fill Yourself Up and Save Money
Food is important. Duh. Many of us may be stuck spending the same amount of money each month on groceries and eating out. It may seem impossible to spend less.
But you can.
Dave Ramsey advises people to spend 5-15 percent of their income on food. Here are a couple of his tips on how to save on food:
- Plan simple dinners.
- Don’t buy name brands.
- Try different grocery stores.
- Make a list.
- Shop with cash.
Here’s how it gets better:
You don’t even have to use coupons to follow these tips.
Plan Fun, Free (Or Inexpensive) Activities
Just like vacations, leisure activities don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Even a night out at the movies with dinner beforehand can cost a couple anywhere from $50-$100 or more! There are several activities you can do with your family that will be fun and keep your wallet fat.
And Then We Saved has an excellent list of free (or cheap) activities for families.
On top of that:
Just think of how fun these activities would be in your new home!
Throw Away Your Vices
Addictions just aren’t worth it. Smoking and large amounts of alcohol are unhealthy and will drain your bank account. According to lung.org, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day will cost you $2,011 a year. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, the average American consumer spends 1 dollar on alcohol for every 100 dollars they spend.
Also, Americans are charged more for alcohol than many other nationalities. From 1982 to 2011, there was a 79 percent increase in alcohol pricing in restaurants and bars. Next time you go out to eat or to socialize, try ordering a water instead. You’ll be surprised how much your bank account will thank you for it.
Work More to Earn Your Beautiful Home
Time is perhaps the hardest sacrifice one could make to save for a home. Most people would rather be doing something other than working; however, picking up an extra shift here or there will pad your wallet. This extra income, when not spent frivolously, can make a significant impact on your savings towards a new home. Finding odd jobs and ways to make extra money are also excellent ideas to help your savings.
Sacrificing your regular lifestyle is hard, but if you do, your future self may come to thank you for the awesome house you worked hard to earn.
Be sure to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 of our SAVING FOR A NEW HOME series.